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Trouble Shooting Sound in Flash

Author: Bluegelmedia.com Author's URL: www.Bluegelmedia.com More by this author

Trouble Shooting Sound in FlashWhen I set one of my sounds to loop, it doesn't do so seamlessly. Why?

Most likely, your sound contains gaps or silence and has not been edited properly. You can remedy this in two ways. You can either 1) open your sound file in a sound editing application that you may have and view the sound file there. By playing your sound in the application you can see and hear where the gap lies. If you do not have a sound editing application, you can then 2) edit your sound in Flash®. You can delete the gap or silence by using the edit points (see Tutorial In/Out Points). Flash® calls them Time In or Time Out edit points. Using these edit points, you can "squeeze" your sound to only show what you would like to hear looping. Taking out silence or gaps also helps to save file size. The material that is squeezed out is not exported with your Flash® movie.

2. When I layer sounds using your layering technique, I get some distortion or a fuzzy sound. Why?

This could be the result of a couple of things. First make sure that your source file does not contain distortion or fuzziness.

Second, you should check to make sure that the volume for each sound file is not overwhelming the output volume; that is, if you have several layers playing together at optimal volume, you may get distortion when all the layers sound together. Remember that each sound file is usually recorded at optimal level. In order to remedy this situation, you will have to mix your sounds in the same manner that a studio engineer adjusts the volume for each instrument in the band to get the optimal mix. So go into each layer where you have attached the sound and bring the envelope points or volume points down (see Envelope Points in Flash® tutorial). Generally you should bring the envelope points down half way on each layer or component and adjust the volume individually from there.

The third reason for distortion may be due to the Flash® application itself or in the Flash® Player and exported movie. Depending on which platform you are using, it is possible to get different results with Flash® and at different times. The Macintosh platform seems to encounter these issues more frequently for us. Our suggestion is to re-export or re-test your movie with the sounds. You should also try using different compression settings and using ADPCM instead of MP3 to troubleshoot the problem. As you probably know, Flash® requires a large amount of memory (RAM) in order to operate properly. Also a greater number of sound layers playing simultaneously will require more horsepower. Try allotting more memory to Flash® and see if that alleviates the problem.

3. When I layer sounds using your layering technique, it sounds like one or more of the sounds is looping over itself. Why?

More than likely, you probably have not extended the timeline out to allow the sounds to play out, this is especially true when you have the Sync Setting set to Stream. Try going into your timeline and adding enough frames to fill or extend over the audio and then try your movie again. Also make sure that you don't have some actions in your movie that may cause such issues by going to certain frames containing sounds and playing them repeatedly.

4. When I layer sounds using your layering technique and I play the movie from frame 1, all the layers don't seem to sync up. Why?

Increasing memory (RAM) may resolve the issue; however, in order to be absolutely sure that all your sounds sync up, you will need to use the "null" sound, a sound that triggers all the layers in sync, and The killersound Technique™. As long as you begin all the sound layers that are to play simultaneously on the same frame number and you use the "null" sound, which you can download from our Goodies page, then you should resolve that problem. Macromedia Tech Support also suggests starting your sound layers on frame 4 or later in your movie. This action allows the Flash® player to perhaps prepare and buffer all the commands and actions. As always, it is recommended that you test your work on different computers, platforms and configurations.

5. When I export or publish my swf file on my desktop or over the web, the sound layers are not in sync. How can I fix this?

Using several sound layers in Flash® can sometimes result in some sound layers being out of sync with the rest of the other sound layers. Although Macromedia does not support the use of Flash® in this manner, there is a way around this issue. You will encounter this problem sometimes when you set the Sync setting to Event. There is a solution which entails using a very tiny file to kick the player into Stream mode but only long enough to start the Event sounds and lock them up in sync. See Layering Audio in Flash® tutorial for further information.

6. I hear a popping or snapping sound as each loop ends and begins. What is going on?

First, make sure that your source file is clean and is free from pops or clicks. You can test the sound and its ability to loop in the Frame Properties: Sound Tab. If the source file is not an issue then the problem may be with the Flash® player. On some computers, the Flash® player may not perform appropriately. So the same file may play out properly on one computer but may have some popping sounds on another computer. We have tested this issue on several computers and have found that this problem occurs infrequently. We have brought up this problem to Macromedia's attention and hope that this issue can be alleviated in the next version of Flash®. In the meantime, you should try using different compression settings and using ADPCM instead of MP3 to see if that clears the problem. To avoid the entire thing altogether, you may wish to use one sound file without using the looping function. That would be the best choice if file size is not an issue or you are running your movie from a hard drive.

7. When I import MP3 files into Flash 5®, why doesn't the audio loop properly? There is always a gap between each loop.

We have tested this issue and have found that, if you plan to loop any sound file in Flash®, it is best to import the raw WAV or AIFF format of the sound file. A gap of silence always results when importing MP3 files into Flash®, even though your source MP3 file, viewed in a sound editing application, is free from this gap. The only time you should import an MP3 directly into Flash® is when you don't plan on looping the audio. So if you have a 30 second movie and you have a 30 second audio clip that you wish to use in the movie, by all means, you can import that 30 second audio piece in MP3 format. You may wish to fade in or fade out the audio in order to avoid the gap of silence from being conspicuous.

8. I am trying to export a flash movie in AVI or MOV but the movie clips inside the .FLA don't work in the final .AVI or .MOV file. What's going on?

You have to install the Quicktime 5.0 PRO package with all the options on your computer system. Select 'export', 'quicktime (.MOV)', in the option panel that pops up after you enter the name of the file. Select the option 'standard' in the control pull down. Mark 'play all frames'. That should do it!

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